Palm Beach Mall outlet project delayed over concerns of local contractors being passed over

WPB city commissioners voted to postpone rezoning

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - A $200 million revamp of the Palm Beach Mall faced a setback on Monday with several West Palm Beach city commissioners voting to delay a proposed outlet mall project.

Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell raised her concern on Monday at a city commission meeting where a vote on zoning the project was expected to take place.

Mitchell said she felt not enough local contractors were being looked at to help build the outlet mall, so she called for a vote to delay rezoning the land which passed 4-to-5.

"We can tell them and tell them and tell them again and when they come before us we can remind them," said Mitchell.

The meeting was her first opportunity to use her elected position to address her concerns. Mitchell along with Commissioner Ike Robinson, Commissioner Shanon Materio and Commissioner Keith James all refused to vote on rezoning the land.

"It's private money. No taxpayer money is being spent on this and the developer the right to hire whomever they choose," said Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The delay, according to Mayor Muoio, sends the wrong message to the business community. She said the commission is delaying the offering the 2,500 jobs and millions of dollars in economic development and taxes.

"Well I think out job isn't just to get something done. It's to get something done right," said Mitchell

Palm Beach County contractors like Mark Kruger, who attended a job fair on Tuesday for the outlet project, feels he has a chance to land work.

"I do, absolutely or I wouldn't be here," said Kruger, owner of Converged Solutions and Services.

The next time the issue will be revisited is on August 20th at a West Palm Beach city commission meeting.

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